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Cablegate: Japan Avian Influenza Update

VZCZCXRO4716
PP RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHKO #0246 0300916
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300916Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1367
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 4330
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 1060
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1400
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5802
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4436
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8198
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9469
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6410
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 8570
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000246

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIAG AMBASSADOR LANGE
DEPT FOR OES/IHA COMELLA
DEPT FOR EAP/J
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER AND HICKEY
DEPT PASS TO AID/GH/HIDN DENNIS CARROLL

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU KSTH ECON PREL SOCI CASC JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN AVIAN INFLUENZA UPDATE

REF: A. 05 STATE 153802

B. 07 TOKYO 4579 AND PREVIOUS
C. 06 TOKYO 2135

1. No human or animal outbreaks of H5N1 Avian Influenza (AI) were
reported in Japan during the period September 27, 2007 to January
30, 2008.

--------------------------------------------- ------
MHLW: No action in response to 100th Indonesian AI death
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. Responding to news reports of the 100th fatality from avian
influenza in Indonesia, officials at the Ministry of Health, Labor
and Welfare (MHLW) told emboffs January 30 that the GOJ has no plans
to take specific action. The MHLW officials said the latest death
is not due to a sudden outbreak and the number of fatalities has
been increasing only gradually.

--------------------------------------------- -------
GOJ creates team for handling potential pandemic influenza
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. Japan's ruling parties have established a team to discuss
countermeasures for pandemic influenza. The team met for the first
time January 29 and is headed by Jiro Kawasaki of the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) who served as Minister of MHLW under Prime
Minister Koizumi. The team will review the status of vaccine
production and virus containment systems, including the dispatch of
the Japan Self Defense Force in the case of an outbreak. The team
will incorporate AI countermeasures into the budget plan in June.
The team also plans to visit Indonesia. According to MHLW,
however, the visit is not related to the reports of Indonesia's
100th AI human fatality.

--------------------------------------------- -------
MHLW to issue caution on the use of Relenza and Symmetrel
--------------------------------------------- -------

4. The MHLW announced January 29 it has instructed pharmaceutical
companies to revise warning labels for anti-viral drugs Relenza and
Symmetrel sold in Japan. The new labels warn that the use of the
drugs may cause abnormal behavior in patients under 20 years old,
although causal links between the drugs and abnormal behavior are
not clear.

SCHIEFFER

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